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Resistance in the Deceleration Lane

Velocentrism, Slow Culture and Everyday Practice

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Marzena Kubisz

Motivated by a desire to reflect critically on the ways in which speeds, both high and low, and their representations affect the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of meanings around particular cultural texts, images and practices, Resistance in the Deceleration Lane uses the velocentric perspective to examine the phenomenon of «slow living» and its rhetoric. The book analyzes cultural practices which are inspired by the conviction that the increased speed of everyday life cannot be accepted unquestioningly. It portrays slowness as a strategy of contestation and resistance on one hand, and on the other it highlights the process of the gradual commercialization of the slow logo and suggests the rise of a post-slow stage in the history of speed.
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Conclusions: Post-slow? Between Strategies and Props

Extract



Slow is the new fast, and there’s a growing

Movement-with-a-capital-M to prove it.

Preston Lerner, “Slow cars – the Joy of Slow”

Let’s embrace speed, for it represents the marvelous

of the modern era. But let’s always check our brakes.

Paul Morand, On Speed

In 1996 Ivan Illich declared that “[t]he Age of Speed had a beginning, and we talk about its history because we witness its end.”1 The surprising announcement of the end of the age of speed calls for a critical re-examination of speed and generates a series of questions, some of which will probably for some time remain unanswered. Provided that the statement was not only made to provoke a reaction from those who try to outrun themselves, it may imply that regardless of how speedy we may become in the future, we have already reached a point after which further acceleration is unlikely to define social relations in the way it has been defining them over the past two centuries. We may assume that further increase in the speed of life will bring faster communication and transportation and quicker delivery of pleasures, but the quality and character of the changes brought about by further technological advances will neither restructure existing social systems nor generate radically new models of social interaction. Thus, to proclaim the end of the age of speed is to assert that the prospects of new speeds are not...

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